Donald Trump and the USPTO:
What is the Future of the USPTO after President-elect Trump Takes Office
Donald Trump is a man of many hats. Not only figuratively speaking, but quite literally now. He is a businessman, reality television star, real estate mogul, intellectual property owner, and now our President-elect. He is also the owner of many hats, each one affixed with his trademarked slogan, “Make America Great Again.” The exact number is not known, but there is a rough estimate Trump has purchased over 92,000 hats and has made over $600,000 selling them.
Trump definitely knows the power of his brand, and has been relentless in protecting it. (In the past decade, Federal court records revealed that Donald J. Trump — or a Trump affiliation organization — had been involved in a half dozen federal trademark lawsuits.) While Trump has been a diligent intellectual property owner for his own brand, there is uncertainty of what Trump’s policies while President will mean for IP owners and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).
A week after Trump won the Presidential election, USPTO Director Michelle Lee spoke at a patent conference and stated that she “believe[s] the incoming administration must and will continue our effort to promote innovation fueled by a strong and robust IP system. Support for IP in the United States has a long history of bipartisanship.” Michelle Lee went on to explain the USPTO will work with the Trump administration to ensure strong IP protection and enforcement, both domestically and around the world. “This is a President-elect that has promised economic growth and job creation in our country, and IP will necessarily be a key piece in achieving that goal.”
So, what exactly will be the future of the USPTO when Trump takes office? Trying to determine what effect Trump’s administration will have on future intellectual property policies in America was certainly not the first issue on the majority of American’s minds during the election, however it doesn’t mean IP policy is not an important issue. It definitely is–especially for IP owners. Let’s take a closer look.